Impact of Low Back Pain on the work performance of male high school Saudi Teachers in Taif City

Mohammed Abdullah Badawood, Hassan Obaid, Mohammed Eldeb Mohammed, Adel Jubran Alrogi


Background: Back pain is one of the commonly presenting complaint in the primary care. It recurrently affects people in their working years. Teachers in school represent an occupational group among which there seems to be a higher low back pain (LBP) prevalence.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence, associated risk factors and the burden of low back pain among high school Saudi teachers, Taif city, Saudi Arabia.
Methodology: A “cross-sectional study” was conducted including a randomly chosen representative sample of regular high school male Saudi teachers in Taif city during 2012-2013. Multi-stage sampling was adopted. A specially-designed Arabic questionnaire, consisting of seven sections including Anthropometric measurements (such as weight and height), BMI, teachers socio-demographic data, low back pain screening, risk factor analysis with low back pain, co-morbidity, including back problems, profession-related variables, and effect of low back pain on performance were used to collect the data. Statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS version 20.0.
Results: The study included 220 teachers. Their age ranged between 25 and 58 years with a mean of 39.5 years and a standard deviation of 6.9 years. The majority of them (88.7%) had a bachelor degree. The prevalence of LBP among them was 57.3%. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that older (>45 years) teachers, obese teachers, those who were not regularly practicing physical exercises, those who had a history of lifting or pushing heavy weights, teachers who had history of direct trauma to the back and those who changed their fixed position at work were at a significantly higher risk for LBP. Significant absenteeism from work were reported among teachers with LBP. However, work grade was not affected due to LBP.
Conclusion: The LBP prevalence among high school teachers in Taif, Saudi Arabia is high as compared to the prevalence reported in other countries. It has a significant impact on the absence of school teachers from schools. Health promotion and educational programs together with adoption of public policies to improve the teacher’s working conditions are warranted in future.


Low back pain; Prevalence; orthopedic; teachers; Taif; Saudi Arabia.

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